TIFTON — The county’s garbage disposal contract with Golden Environmental is set to end Nov. 17 of this year, the last year of the five-year agreement.

“There’s been some discussion of how we’re going to manage our disposal contract moving forward,” said Tift County Manager Jim Carter at the Tift County Board of Commissioners meeting Feb. 5.

The City of Tifton, who also has a contract with Golden Environmental that ends this year, recently agreed to put out a call for proposals from garbage collection companies.

The county could do likewise, or decide to renew with Golden Environmental.

Speaking to the board, Golden Environmental owner Richard Golden told the board he’d want to up the base collection fee to $16 in a renewed contract, with the right to a 2 percent increase after the third year.

“You’re standing up here and telling us tonight that for the next five years, all you want is $0.77?” asked Hester.

“Yeah, that’s right,” said Golden.

“I haven’t gone up one penny in four years,” Golden added.

Golden also wants to go up from $5 to $7 for extra cans.

Outdoor warning sirens

Out of the county’s nine outdoor sirens, only a couple currently work, Tift County Emergency Management Director Vickie Hickman told the board.

“Several years ago, we had 19 outdoor weather sirens,” said Vickie Hickman with Tift County Emergency Management Agency. “Some of them have aged out so far we can’t even get parts for them.”

The board discussed whether to repair the non-working sirens, and more largely, discussed whether to continue to have outdoor sirens at all.

“Previous boards wanted to cut down on sirens,” said Tift County Manager Jim Carter.

He mentioned the county’s current Everbridge warning system, which sends emergency alerts to registered cell phones.

“I would be in favor of keeping one at EB Hamilton and Eve Park,” said Hickman.

“Do we need to get new ones and be done with it?” asked commissioner Donnie Hester.

“Do you want to get rid of them and depend on phones?” asked commissioner Melissa Hughes.

Hickman said she would get repair estimates and bring them to the next meeting.

Matt Wilson development grant

Commissioners discussed the City of Tifton’s upcoming Community Development Block Grant application.

Tifton is applying for a $750,000 grant to help construct the proposed Matt Wilson Neighborhood YMCA/Youth Enrichment Center.

“When the Matt Wilson development concept began, it starts with housing,” said Tifton City Manager Pete Pyrzenski. “We talked about the neighborhood, we talked about code enforcement. Then it grew into another layer, which is now partnering with the YMCA and adult literacy to have a nucleus in the neighborhood.

“We’ll have an after school program there, we’ll have a teen center there and the obvious adult literacy along with summer feedings through the YMCA.”

To qualify for the grant, Tifton needs to add the center to the Service Delivery Agreement between the county, Tifton, Ty Ty and Omega.

This is similar to when the county needed to add Ruth’s Cottage and the Patticake House on to the agreement last year so the new Ruth’s Cottage facility project would qualify for the CDBG.

Public safety radio

The board discussed  switching to a year-to-year update on the county’s public safety radio system.

The yearly cost would be $267,841 for 10 years, coming to $2.67 million.

“We have the money in SPLOST VI for technology and public safety that’ll cover this costs,” said E911 Director Tina Gay.

According to county staff, this would be less than what the county paid to update the previous system in 2014.

Rezoning

The board discussed a public hearing for a 0.91 acre tract of land at the intersection of Whiddon Mill Road and Bowen Marchant Road.

Currently zoned as medium-density residential, the owner is asking to switch it to residential professional, which would allow construction of an office building.

Mini-excavator

The board also considered purchasing a mini-excavator for $69,900.

“You can get in those tight, narrow spaces we have to work in in south Tifton,” said Jason Jordan, special projects manager.

Commissioners also discussed:

• Approving a Transportation Investment Act Local Project Delivery application.

• Approving an estimated $13,447 overrun on the Springhill/Sand Hammock Lake Road project.

• Emergency engine repairs to EMS Squad One.

• A vacancy on the Zoning Board of Appeals. Matthew Waldrop has applied for the position.

• Reappointing Jack Stone and Roger Dilll to the Tourism Board.

The board’s next meeting is 6 p.m., on Monday, Feb. 11 at the Administration Building at 225 N. Tift Avenue.

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